MIA by David Leffel
Bittersweet and Peaches by David Leffel
I'm always trying to learn on this journey of mine so I take classes, read magazines, check out SmartFlix videos and buy books.
It's not that I want to paint LIKE someone else, it's just that I'd love to paint AS WELL AS other people. There are so many artists I admire and they have all different styles although almost all of them fall into the broad category of realism.
A while back my artist friend, Laura Wambsgans, had been reading a book called "An Artist Teaches" by David Leffel. I decided to read it too. I agree with her that the photo plates are gorgeous often showing details of the brushwork that one would have to see nose to painting.
I'm enjoying Leffel's thoughts, but somewhat frustrated because although there are many beautiful examples of his work throughout the book, he doesn't use most of them specifically to illustrate his points. One has to read the book and then look through the various paintings to infer from the text how he used his ideas in the artwork. For example Leffel states that "Every great painting may be defined as a picture with one essential visual idea. That is the painter's concept." Then he actually does state that the painting on that page is "about" the movement of light from left to right, but I really don't see that this concept is much different than can be seen in so many of the paintings throughout the book. Leffel says that "When working conceptually, the artist is defining a problem, which is an internalising experience." He says that many students try to copy what they see and are not trying to realize a concept.
There are sections, too, on Techniques and Tools as well as Reflections on the Art of Painting. I'm about halfway through and enjoying it. Perhaps as I read more, I'll better understand Leffel's ideas. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the wonderful plates showing his interesting and beautiful work.
Two quotes struck me:
"One does not judge good; one understands it."
and toward the end.... "The end is in sight" should read "The end is insight."